William Holmes McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader (revised edition, 1879, Lesson LXV, pp. 200-204) memorialized John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg in a poem titled “The Rising” written by Thomas Buchanan Read:
“The pastor rose: the prayer was strong;
The psalm was warrior David’s song;
The text, a few short words of might,-
“The Lord of Hosts shall arm the right!”
He spoke of wrongs too long endured,
Of sacred rights to be secured;
Then from his patriot tongue of flame
The startling words for Freedom came.
The stirring sentences he spake
Compelled the heart to glow or quake,
And, rising on his theme’s broad wing,
And grasping in his nervous hand
The imaginary battle-brand,
In face of death he dared to fling
Defiance to a tyrant king.”
In McGuffey’s 5th Eclectic Reader, 1879, is a lesson by William Ellery Channing, titled “Religion-The Only Basis of Society”:
“How powerless conscience would become without the belief of a God …
Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man.
Appetite, knowing no restraint … would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws …
Man would become … what the theory of atheism declares him to be — a companion for brutes.”
William Holmes McGuffey’s Fifth Eclectic Reader, 1879, included Lesson CXIII, “A Picture of Human Life” by Samuel Johnson:
“Temptation succeeds temptation, and one compliance prepares us for another; we, in time, lose the happiness of innocence, and solace our disquiet with sensual gratifications.
By degrees we let fall the remembrance of our original intention, and quit the only adequate object of rational desire.
We entangle ourselves in business, immerse ourselves in luxury, and rove through the labyrinths of inconstancy till darkness of old age begins to invade us, and disease and anxiety obstruct our way.
We then look back upon our lives with horror, with sorrow, and with repentance; and wish, but too often vainly wish, that we had not forsaken the paths of virtue.”